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This rendering details proposed improvements to the intersection of Main Street and U.S. 301.
Sarasota Monday, Jun. 9, 2014 3 years ago

DID to consider further Main Street improvements

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

Last year, the Downtown Improvement District funded a $1.9 million streetscape improvement project along the western portion of Main Street. Now, the group will consider extending those improvements to the east — and expanding its boundaries in the process.

The DID will discuss improving Main Street between Goodrich Avenue and U.S. 301 at its meeting Tuesday. That stretch was included along with the western end of Main Street in the group’s Main Street improvement master plan, developed beginning in 2010. Because the DID’s borders only extend from Gulfstream Avenue to Goodrich Avenue along Main Street, the group initially only committed to funding those segments.

DID Chairman Ernie Ritz is interested in finishing the job; he placed the topic on Tuesday's agenda for discussion. The proposed improvements include additional landscaping, brick intersections and new parallel parking spaces. According to DID Operations Manager John Moran, preliminary cost estimates for the project are about $1.3 million.

Money has been a problem for the DID, which committed significant future funds to complete the initial Main Street improvement project. The group, which draws revenue from an additional property tax on land within its boundaries, has discussed potentially expanding its borders so that it might tackle more significant endeavors going forward.

Improving the eastern segment of Main Street would include a corresponding expansion, Moran said. Based on 2013 property values, expanding eastward to U.S. 301 would generate roughly $282,000 in additional annual revenue. The group will also discuss potentially expanding its boundaries to those of the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area, which would produce more than $1.3 million in additional annual revenue.

Contact David Conway at [email protected].

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